Federal Marketplace Subsidies at Stake in King v. BurwellPosted by Anulkah Thomas, Health Coverage Policy Analyst on March 12th, 2015
Oral arguments for the Supreme Court case of King v. Burwell commenced on March 4, 2015. The suit centers on a section of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) stipulating that people who purchase marketplace plans through exchanges “established by the state” are eligible for subsidies which reduce the cost of their insurance premiums and make them more affordable. The plaintiffs assert that only state-based marketplaces like Covered California can offer subsidies, meaning that the federal government is in violation of its own law by providing subsidies through the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov. Currently, more than seven million people in 36 states receive financial assistance through the federal marketplace.
The Obama administration’s defense focuses on the overall language of the law as well as its intent, which they argue was to make health coverage affordable for all Americans subject to the individual mandate. Those familiar with the three-legged stool metaphor concerning the ACA understand just how important premium assistance is to the sustainability of healthcare reform. According to the architects of the ACA, the law’s success is dependent upon
Posted in 2015